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kondo'd, fly lady'd, still crap at it!

(35 Posts)
sassandfaff Wed 06-May-15 14:13:53

I did kondo before christmas- bloody brilliant. 8 trips to the charity shop and 9 trips to the tip.

I've since been through the house again, with a little more ruthlessness. 2 more trips to the charity shop and one more tip run.

Don't get me wrong, the house is much better. I can realistically tidy and clean from top to bottom now in less than a day. (Would have took a week before)

But it's still untidy most days. Grrr.

I have been looking at fly lady, but it seems more for people who have clutter and need to get to grips with starting a routine to get on top of it.

I can get on top of it, I just can't seem to stay on top of it!

I have a daft mentality that I need some help/tips to shake.

I'm terrible at putting away. I'm forever putting down; to do later. That in itself is probably fixable, but I have this efficiency mentality (although I am better than I was).

Dp is always tidying to make it look nicer. By that I mean, putting things neat in piles or pushing it in corners etc. But to me that would just mean I would be doing work twice. I wouldn't walk into a room and think I'll just make it look nicer. I would think, for example, living room -right, all the toys need putting back where they belong, the various clothes need picking up, hoover needs going on.

Another example, the kitchen. He will pile the dishes neat and wipe up crumbs with a wet wipe. I wouldn't do anything until I'm ready to load the dishwasher, wash what is left over, put away all the various packets, tins, juice bottles, etc take out the re-cycling, the bin and wipe the tops down with disinfectant, sweep the floor.

Ie, I want it done properly, but as he points out, this makes me do it less because I'm overwhelmed with what needs doing. And he is right.

This is not a dig or complaint at dp. I'm just using what he does as an example to explain my way of thinking.

Another example would be that I only wash up if there is a big pile of dishes, as doing it when there are a few things just makes me think I'm doing 3 times instead of once. hmm

I'm not sure I've explained very well confused but I think I need some sort of system that makes you stay on top of things and gets me thinking differently, without assuming you haven't done things for months/years.

I should point out that there are 6 of us in this house, including 4 children, so I can literally turn round and the room I just left is already a tip, but my biggest job is without doubt the washing/drying/ironing and putting clothes away.

Any tips welcome. grin

CrispEater Thu 07-May-15 14:08:37

I can really sympathise. I've read lots of books incl. the Kondo one and tried Flylady and though I think I've learned something from each of them, you wouldn't know from looking at our house. And our kids are grown up and moved out!

Your thoughts sound very familiar - it's not worth starting if you're not going to be able to do the job properly, it's not worth starting if you're not sure you'll have time to finish, it's not worth starting because there are x other areas that are just as bad...

A few ideas that help me:

Use even little bits of time - pick up and put away while you are waiting for the kettle to boil or the toast to pop up or when you're on the phone. I always get a kick out of achieving something in time that would otherwise be wasted.

Even if you really don't want to start a job, do some of the preparations so it will be easier when you do - pick up stuff off the floor to get ready for hoovering, get the cleaning stuff together in the bathroom etc. Often doing that gets me over my reluctance to start on the job itself, and even if it doesn't, it makes it easier to start later on.

One thing I read (in "How not to be a messie" by Sandra Felton, an oldish American book) really sticks in my mind: the difference between a "messie" and a "cleanie" is that if a messie sees a bit of fluff or a thread on the floor, s/he will walk past sighing "I'll have to get the hoover out!" whereas a cleanie will just pick it up and put it in the bin...

I think part of the problem is a mentality where you think of housework as a set of "big jobs" (for want of a better word!) and believe that if you do them, you will somehow be done/finished. Instead, I suppose you have to look at life as a continuous process of doing little things to keep chaos at bay!

Hope this makes sense and that you get lots of good tips (will be watching)!

homeaway Thu 07-May-15 17:26:23

My top tip is if you have something in your hand to be put away put it in it's home rather than just on the side. It helps if everything has a home so you know where to put it. .i think it is really daunting to clean the house in one go so i break it down into smaller tasks. Some people do certain tasks on certain days. Clutter makes cleaning harder so only keep the things you love. Hth.

Leviticus Fri 08-May-15 22:20:02

Echoing CrispEater somewhat but it sounds like you're a perfectionist in that you are reluctant to do something unless you can really do it and the result is that things get left and you live in mess and disorder.

The best thing I took from FlyLady is 'if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing badly'.

So like Crisp said, pick the fluff up, don't wait to hoover at a later hmm(isn't going to happen) time

Leviticus Fri 08-May-15 22:20:37

No idea where the sad face came from. Fat fingers.

Hikari01 Sat 09-May-15 13:19:36

Try the 60 second rule. If something doesn't take longer than 60 seconds, do it right away.
I.e. You just ate and have a plate and a fork to clean, it will definitely take less than 60 seconds, so just do it. If there is something on the floor, pick it up and put it where it belongs as it usually takes less than 60 seconds.
Wiping the table: definitely less than 60 seconds, so do it right away.

Another inspiration to stay on top of things could be Juicystar07's cleaning and organizing schedule:

The video that goes with it:
(You might have to get used to her voice, though)

Good luck.

sassandfaff Sun 10-May-15 10:19:10

Thanks everyone.

I don't think I'm a perfectionist, I think it's more an aversion to doing half a job. It would only mean doing the other half later, so what's the point?

I think crisp got me. It is definitely a mentality thing, that I need to shake.

I have just spent from 7.30am till 10.10am on the upstairs. I have done an OK job, but not thorough. I've done that deliberate because I'm going to assign a room(s) to certain days and if I'd have cleaned to properly then nothing would need doing next week, which means I would wait a week and then everything would need doing as a big job again!

I'm about to eat breakfast and then do the same downstairs.

The problem I have with flylady, is that she breaks down housework for one room over a week. I do more housework than that everyday and it's still a tip.

Or am I missing something?

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 11-May-15 09:15:18

Sass with flylady do you mean the zones? So this week, for eg, we're in the bathroom zone? That confused me, too. I think the idea is that the zone is where you do your DEEP CLEANING, stuff you wouldn't do every day, like decluttering cabinets, maybe doing jobs that have been put off like fixing a door handle <glares at DH>.

The daily stuff is different - if you go through the whole control journal thing there's a bit where you write out your daily routines, so what you do Monday, what you do Tuesday etc. That's where you're normal, day to day cleaning goes.

Have you tried UFYH? I'm finding that quite motivating, with a bit of flylady sprinkled in for good measure.

sassandfaff Mon 11-May-15 09:56:54

cupcakes never heard of ufyh, so just googled. Yikes! Those pictures on tumblr make me feel ill.....

Maybe I am a perfectionist after all. grin

Yes to the fly lady zones. I just couldnt see how doing one room spread over a week -while the rest of the house descends into choas- was productive. confused I thought either I was missing something (which apparently I am) or it is for people whose house is cluttered and overwhelms them iyswim.

I have come up with a system, using the link that hikari posted. With daily, weekly and monthly chores.

In the past I have assigned rooms to days, but didn't find that helped as it would have all the rooms in various degrees of tidy clean etc. So I really like the idea of doing daily stuff to keep back the tide and then weekly stuff to keep it clean.

I will post what I have come up with for crisp if you are still watching and on the off chance it might help someone else. smile

sassandfaff Mon 11-May-15 09:58:50

are cluttered and overwhelm them

sassandfaff Mon 11-May-15 10:05:21


Wash up left over dishes
Sweep floor
Take out recycling and empty bin

Move any rubbish/empty toilet roll holders
Put shower bottles back on shelf

Put away clothes hanging around
Tidy dresser
Move any rubbish

living room
Tidy away toys (sigh)
Put back sofa cushions (double sigh)
Move any clothes

dining room
Tidy up toys
Wipe table

Washing machine

sassandfaff Mon 11-May-15 10:09:00


Deep clean the bathrooms

Deep clean all the bedrooms

Hoover all upstairs

Catch up (if I've missed anything)

Deep clean kitchen and utility

Deep clean hall, living and dining room

Chore from monthly list

sassandfaff Mon 11-May-15 10:11:59


week 1
Clean fridge

week 2
Clean windows and mirrors

week 3
Wipe down door handles, skirting boards, spot clean doors and frames and walls etc

week 4
Deep clean cooker/microwave/cooker hood.

Leviticus Mon 11-May-15 10:24:49

But that is being a perfectionist - not doing something unless it can be fully done. The result is that it doesn't get done.

It's weird to think of yourself as a perfectionist when you're a messy person - it seems the opposite of how you'd describe yourself.

sassandfaff Mon 11-May-15 10:30:26

Leviticus I think my definition of a perfectionist is someone who keeps doing something until they think it's perfect.

I never think anything I do is perfect! Maybe that does make me a perfectionist, in that nothing is ever perfect to me. confused

WaitingForMe Mon 11-May-15 12:05:27

I do lots throughout the day. When DS had a banana earlier I put the laundry in the tumble, the next load on and washed the breakfast things. Took 6-7 minutes. When I take him up for his nap, I'll put his clean clothes away while he chooses his story (3 minutes).

I suppose I am constantly cleaning and tidying but it's habit now. The house is far from perfect but I'm not aiming for that now. The goal is mess-free, ordered and calm.

allovertheworld Mon 11-May-15 14:17:04

I think a lot like that and I'd call myself a perfectionist. Not that I'll do something again and again, but I'll bust a gut to get it right and feel very stressed or frustrated if I can't do it to my standard.

I find it helpful to think of a room as having various smaller jobs within it that I can do well within the time I have. Or I set myself a short task similar to ufyh eg 15 minutes moving items all over the house which are in the wrong room to their home. Or 10 minutes throwing out suspicious food and wiping one shelf in fridge. 5 mins finding rubbish or recycling in the bedrooms.

Still struggle with laundry though.

Like the look of your schedules, I may borrow them...

Hikari01 Mon 11-May-15 20:04:20

@ Sassandfaff: looks good ! Glad I could help smile

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-May-15 07:49:54

Ooh, I like the idea of having a "monthly chore" that gets done on a Sunday. Might swipe that one. Thanks OP!

My schedules are very much like yours - they evolve over time obviously but it helps to keep it all written down!

sassandfaff Tue 12-May-15 08:38:13

Yesterday went really well. I managed to do everything on my list apart from deep clean bathrooms. But that's not as bad as it sounds, because I actually cleaned them on Sunday.

I went to bed with the house fairly tidy in every room. Yeah!

sassandfaff Tue 12-May-15 08:54:00

You are welcome letThere

I have written it out in my diary under the next 7 days, but It takes ages and is a faff.

Saw something under ufyh though, that I may swipe. She had written it out and then laminated it. She then used manic markers to cross off every day and then wiped them off to start again the next day. Genius!

It might help with encouraging the dcs too, as she said they wanted to do chores just so they could use the magic markers. Double genius!!

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 12-May-15 09:07:06

yes mine are laminated.

LOVING the idea of Manic Markers. Would fit in with my way of thinking beautifully. grin

sassandfaff Tue 12-May-15 09:13:26


Yes, me too.......

JimmyCorkhill Tue 12-May-15 09:18:40

You have just described me! DH will, for example, do a bowl of washing up but leave the rest of the kitchen a bombsite. To me, washing up is ALL the washing, wipe the surfaces and sweep the floor. So he washes a bowl of dishes and I do....nothing.

CrispEater just the name of the book you suggested made me laugh and it's cheap on Amazon.

Notso Tue 12-May-15 09:38:06

I am so similar sass so is DH.

Can't offer advice as my house is a bomb site hmm

I find the only times it's anywhere near how I would like it is when I am cleaning and tidying all day from getting up until about 10 at night. Which is enevitably unsustainable.
I can remember a time when DC 1&2 were both in school and I was working part time when it was clean and tidy all the time with minimum effort.
For 4 years I've had DC3&4 at home and chaos has descended again.
Having little kids at home is not conducive to perfection!

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